A truck drove into a crowd and killed dozens of people on a beach in Nice, France, who had gathered there to watch fireworks for the national holiday Bastille Day late Thursday night.
A total of 84 people have died, according to the French interior ministry. Among them are 10 children. About another 50 people are in critical condition, and many more have less serious injuries.
The French president, François Hollande, said the "terroristic character" of the attack "cannot be denied" and vowed that France would stay strong in the face of "fanatics."
The driver has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian national living in France. He was evidently completely unknown to French intelligence.
This is a developing story, and the facts on the ground are likely to change. Here’s what we know and don’t know as of Friday afternoon Eastern time.
What we know
- The truck drove into a crowd of revelers celebrating Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, with fireworks on the Promenade des Anglais, a popular, crowded stretch of beach in Nice.
- The attack took place during the fireworks, according to French media, at about 11 pm local time.
- 84 people were killed, according to the latest update from the French interior ministry, and about another 50 are in critical condition, Hollande said. Foreign victims include two Americans, three Germans, one Russian, one Armenian, one Ukranian and one Swiss, Le Monde reported.
- A total of 202 people were injured, according to Hollande.
- The truck driver has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian who worked as a truck driver. He left his phone, bank card, and identity documents in the truck.
- Bouhlel was completely unknown to national and regional intelligence, according to Paris prosecutor François Molins. There was no record that he had been radicalized in any way.
- Bouhlel was convicted only once, for assault in a fight after a traffic accident. In January 2016, he was ordered to avoid contact with the victim and pay a 1,000-euro fine, and received a six-month suspended sentence. He was not under any court order or surveillance at the time of the attack, the French attorney general, Jean-Jacques Urvoas, told Le Monde.
- Bouhlel rented the truck on July 11, according to Molins, and was supposed to return it July 13.
- Bouhlel was armed with a handgun and had a pistol and two rifles, as well as an "inactive" grenade, according to Molins.
- Bouhlel fired on police several times before police killed him, Molins said.
- A photo tweeted by Nice-Matin, the local newspaper, showed the truck pockmarked with bullet holes:
Le camion criblé de balles #AttaquesNice pic.twitter.com/dDXTulKieh— Nice-Matin (@Nice_Matin) July 14, 2016
Police are on the scene, and thousands of people fled the scene, according to Nice-Matin:
Les images de la Promenade des Anglais après les #AttaquesNice pic.twitter.com/d4kDjs72OB— Nice-Matin (@Nice_Matin) July 14, 2016
- Police are still investigating whether Bouhlel had accomplices, how he obtained the weapons, and whether he was in contact with terrorist groups.
- So far, no groups have claimed credit for the attack.
What we don’t know
- How Bouhlel planned the attack, and whether he had accomplices
- The final count of dead or injured
- Whether any international terrorist groups were involved